Get the best of content every week!
Find answers to fascinating Jewish questions, enjoy holiday tips and guides, read real-life stories and more!

Rabbi Gordon - Vayeira: 7th Portion

Join the Discussion

Sort By:
Anonymous October 29, 2018

This may be a difficult question to answer:
In this day's torah portion, we learn that Avraham named this place Yira-eh - G-d will be seen.
I understand the point to be that this is the holiest place in the world and that G-d was seen because He told Avraham not to go through with killing his son.

So I guess I have three questions:

1) Why did God choose specifically this place to be the holiest place in the physical world - the place where His temples would stand?

2) G-d will hopefully and has "been seen" from every place in the world. He was certainly seen when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. He was certainly seen at Mount Sinai... I assume this naming of the city meant that this is the place in the world where a human being can have the closest connection with G-d. Let me know if you have any other further explanations.

3) On another note, why did Shem originally name this place "Shalem" - complete. What was the significance of that/how did he come up with that name?

Thanks! Reply

Rabbi Mendel Adelman November 1, 2018
in response to Anonymous:

Great questions! Due to length constraints, this answer will be concise:

1) The Gemara (Nedarim 39a) says that the Temple preceded the creation of the world. The choice in making that specific spot holy was not due to anything unique about the spot. It was chosen for the pure reason of choice. G-d's choice transcends any factors.

The same is true of the nation of Israel. G-d's choice that we would be His nation is not due to our specific qualities. It is due to G-d's pure, unadulterated choice and desire. I would recommend reading On the Essence of Choice on our website, along with How Does G-d Decide What is Right?.

The space of the Temple, Jews, and existence are not holy because of some external reason, but because of a quintessential connection with G-d's essence, His Choice.

2) In all other places, you can connect with what G-d does. You can see his might, his judgement, etc. In the Temple, you can connect with G-d that is higher than the way He affects the world.

3) His tabernacle was in Shalem – This is referring to Jerusalem. Perhaps she is called Shalem because she is perfectly positioned opposite the gate of heaven, or that she is fit to be in peace. Or perhaps they called her thus in a prayerful fashion, like “ask for the peace of Jerusalem…” (Ibn Ezra Psalms 76:3) Reply

Anonymous November 9, 2014

Thank you for your wonderful classes When I do chitas, it is only because of your wonderful and enjoyable classes. May you and your family be blessed.

My son wants to know when your gemmorah class begins.

Thank you Reply

Noahide KL October 19, 2013

Beautiful lecure Rabbi Gordon, you are such a wonderful educator. Reply

Jewliah Parnassah Antwerp October 18, 2013

Todah rABBAh Thank you very much, a pleasure to listen to your teachings.
G-d bless, and good shabbos. Reply

Study the daily Chumash with Rashi, Tanya and Rambam with master teacher Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon.
Related Topics